Interesting days in England and it probably indicates what the so-called progressive left eventually wants to see happen in North America. A new law is being debated in England’s House of Commons and if passed, the government’s revised Policing and Crime Bill will see the penalty for a “racially or religiously aggravated offense” increased from its current seven-year imprisonment to 14 years. Since the revised law implies that a person could be thrown in jail for simply offending someone, during the debate UKIP Member of Parliament Lord Pearson asked the following question of the government: “Could such an offense be caused by a Christian preaching the supreme divinity of Christ and thereby denying the supremacy of Muhammad? Would various assembled Muslims be free to regard that as a religiously aggravated offense under this section?” He wanted to know if a person could be thrown in jail for simply stating their belief Jesus is Lord? As an opposition party, UKIP led the charge in England’s decision to leave the European Union. Rather than saying there was …
An article in the Daily Mail on changes taking place at Canterbury Cathedral in London, England speaks of a significant culture shock coming for western Christians. For years, we have lived in a bubble where we could go through our day not worrying we would be attacked for our faith. But that bubble is bursting or at the very least there is a noticeable leak. Police in England have just announced they will be stationing armed guards at Canterbury Cathedral in England. Built in 597AD, it is one of Britain’s oldest churches. This is not the church hiring its own security staff, but rather police sending in protection. And in a country where police typically patrol without guns, these guards are armed. The article added that protection will be given to other unnamed churches and public venus. The police made this decision in response to recent attacks on churches in Europe by Muslim extremists. In July, an 84-year-old Catholic priest in Normandy, France had his throat slit by Islamic extremists in front of his congregation during …
Just a brief write-up about a few stories that caught my attention this past week: Lord’s prayer banned in England The Lord’s prayer is a regular part of services in the Church of England. This year, the church produced an ad with each line being prayed by a different person. It starts with the leader of the Anglican Church, The Right Honourable Justin Welby. Welby who is the archbishop of Canterbury is part of the evangelical wing of the Anglican church. Other participants included a police officer, weight lifter, farmer and others. However, when the church approached Digital Cinema Media (DCM) to buy time for the ad to be run in movie theaters, the company refused stating it might cause offense. DCM sells 80% of the advertisements sold on England’s 2,929 movie screens. The controversy over the refusal generated great publicity for the ad now shown on YouTube and as well a strange ally. In an interview in The Guardian, atheist Richard Dawkins said: “I still strongly object to suppressing ads on the grounds that …
For nearly every year since 1932, England’s Royalty has broadcast a Christmas message across Britain on BBC, the government-run TV station. The only year it didn’t happen was in 1969 when BBC instead aired a documentary on England’s royalty This year, Queen Elizabeth, 89, will be making her annual broadcast which according to an article in The Express will be the clearest expression of her Christian faith since she became Queen in 1952. In recent years, the Queen has become increasingly vocal about her faith. The broadcast to be aired on Christmas day is expected to attract millions of viewers. Last year 7.8 million people watched the Queen’s message. The Queen will backdrop her faith declaration with the “unprecedented” rising persecution of Christians around the world particularly by Muslim extremists in the Middle East where ISIS has targeted believers. According to The Express, a source within Buckingham Palace said “she [the Queen] is driven by a deep and spirited faith.” Though to a lesser degree, the Queen has also felt first-hand the threat of Muslim Jihad. In September, the British …
Alan Barnes, 67, is only 4’6″ tall and nearly blind. He was thrust into the limelight this past January when he was brutally attacked by a drug addict looking for money. Barnes was rolling out his garbage bins when it happened. He suffered severe injuries including a broken collar-bone. After the assault, Barnes, who came by his disabilities when his mother caught the German measles while pregnant with Alan, was too scared to leave his home. His story became headline news in the media throughout England. People were outraged by the brutality and senselessness of the attack. When beautician Katie Cutler heard what happened, she organized a fund-raising campaign hoping to raise £500 to help Barnes. However, as news spread the donations started pouring in and in a matter of weeks the total hit £350,155. Barnes was shocked. In interviews, he said ‘thank you’ seemed hardly enough for the outflow of generosity. The money allowed Alan to move out of the disability complex where he lived and buy his own terraced home for £150,000 pounds. …
[by Dean Smith] Rev. Dr. Mike Ovey is principal of London’s Oak Hill Theological College that trains priests for the Anglican church. He is not only a former lawyer, but as well worked for the government during the 1980s helping draft England’s anti-terrorism bill to combat IRA terrorism. In an interview with The Telegraph, Dr. Ovey is sounding alarm bells over Extremism Disruption Orders being added to England’s Counter Extremism Bill. What concerns Dr. Ovey is that these potential changes could effectively criminalize Christian beliefs.
[by Dean Smith] New figures out of England show some disturbing news on abortions. According to the country’s Department of Health in 2014 37% of women in England and Wales who had an abortion had already had at least one earlier abortion. These figures match those found in France and Sweden. In an effort to justify these numbers, abortion activists claim that birth control is not 100% resulting in unwanted pregnancies, however, some suggest that for some women abortion is their form of birth control. Perhaps the biggest lie promoted by the abortion industry is that they involve unwanted pregnancies — inconvenient, maybe, unwanted no. Couples are paying tens of thousands of dollars to adopt children overseas because there are essentially no babies available in their home country. If a woman chose to carry her child to term, there would be couples lined up willing to adopt. So don’t call the child unwanted.
[by Dean Smith] England’s BBC reports a government tribunal has ruled a childcare nursery discriminated against a woman because of her Christian beliefs when it fired her in January 2014. At the heart of the issue was a Christian’s freedom to talk about homosexual issues. Sarah Mbuyi, an evangelical Christian, worked for Newpark Childcare nursery in Watford, England. According to BBC News, Mbuyi was fired three days after she answered a co-worker’s question who wondered what God thought of her lesbian relationship.
[by Dean Smith] In September, 2013, while Rob Hughes, 34, was street preaching in Basildon, Essex, England, when a woman approached him. She described herself as “gay and proud,” and immediately confronted Hughes. There was a brief, but heated discussion filled with colorful blue language — none of it expressed by Hughes. After the woman left, she called the police and accused Hughes of making homophobic comments. Hughes works with a Christian group called Operation 513, which specializes in street evangelism. After he finished preaching, his group was handing out tracts, when two police officers approached Hughes and arrested him.
[by Dean Smith] I love castles. One of my bucket list goals is to visit England and explore at least a couple ancient fortresses. However, there is one, Bodiam Castle, that I may take a pass on. Located in Kent, it is a popular castle and because of its huge moat very photogenic. You may have already seen pictures of it. But there is something strange about this castle. It is not all that it seems. Sir Edward Dalyngrigge was given permission to build the castle in 1385. He had been a faithful servant to King Richard II fighting for the English king in the Hundred Years War. It seems back then, like a car, you had to have a license or “crenellate” as it was called then to build a castle. I guess Kings wanted to control who built castles because they could be used for you or against you.
[by Dean Smith] A recent international survey by WIN/Gallup International (WGI) found that England is now one of the least religious countries in the world where only 30% of respondents said they were religious. WGI asked 64,000 people in 65 nations to rank their religious beliefs according to three statements: “A religious person,” “not a religious person” and ” a convicted atheist.” It did not break down the faith according to beliefs. Britain now joins China where only 7% considered themselves religious, Japan at 13%, Sweden 19%, Holland 26% and the Czech Republic 27% as among the least religious countries in the world.
An English judge has penalized Michael Overd $2,100 for citing certain portions of the Bible in public. This included a $300 fine and paying $1,800 in compensation for causing “emotional pain.” Last summer, Overd, a former British paratrooper, was street preaching in Taunton in the county of Somerset, England with a loudspeaker when spoke of Leviticus 20. The chapter speaks of the death penalty for homosexuality (verse 13). Though he referenced the chapter, Overd, who has been a street preacher for five years, claims he never spoke about the death penalty.
Dawn Watson and Rob Spray were scuba diving about 300 meters off the the coast of Cley Next to the Sea, Norfolk, England when Dawn made an incredible discovery. Cley Next to the Sea is located on Britain’s North coast bordering the North Sea. Dawn found a forest of oak trees at the bottom of the ocean. This included complete, but now fallen trees, some with branches 24 feet long (8 meters). The forest, previously buried in the sand, was probably uncovered by a recent storm in the area. A survey of the forest suggests at one point it may have stretched from England to Europe, covering thousands of acres.
For decades, it was thought a land bridge that once connected Britain to Europe had disappeared through a combination of slow erosion and rising seas. Some believe this separation took place over one million years ago. However, that popular theory was tossed into the trash bin because of a 2006 study that was conducted on how England was populated. As part of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project (AHOB), researchers scanned the English Channel several kilometers off the coast of Sussex looking for examples of human settlement.
A survey of 2,000 families commissioned by the English organization Christmas Starts with Christ found over 30% of the children (aged 10 to 13) did not know Christmas was associated with the birth of Christ and 51% of adults do not believe Jesus is important to Christmas. The organization blamed the political correctness creeping into English schools for much of this lack of awareness. This includes removing mentions of Christ from Christmas so not to offend and no longer displaying nativity scenes or if they do including everything from Elvis to Aliens in the scene.
[by Dean Smith] It amazes me how intolerant secularists become when they speak of tolerance. In June 2014, the English government increased the reach of the UK Office of Standards in Education, Children Services and Skills (Ofsted) enabling it to enforce supposed “British values” in the school system. An article in The Telegraph gave Christians a first-hand look of how this will work. Ofsted regulators recently visited a small independent Christian school in Home Counties which was described in Ofsted’s report as a “successful Christian school.”
According to Khalid Mahmood, a British MP from Birmingham, England, there are more British Muslims fighting for Islamic State (IS) extremists in the Middle East than there are serving in the British army. The IS — which goes by various acronyms including ISIS (Islamic State in Syria) — is attempting to set up an Islamic Caliphate in the Middle East. The British army says there are 600 Muslims serving in the British army. MP Khalid Mahmood believes over the last three years 1,500 British Muslims have joined the IS in its fight in the Middle East.
A government is persecuting another baker, this time in Northern Ireland, for their family’s Christian beliefs. This is not unusual. Christian bakers are similarly under fire in North America for their refusal to make wedding cakes for gay weddings. However, this persecution has a bit of an unusual twist. The bakery is being persecuted for not endorsing gay marriage. The Ashers Baking Co, with six different locations in Northern Ireland, is owned by the McArthur family. They have deeply held Christian beliefs and the name of the baking company comes from Genesis 49:20 which reads:
In late May, a Baptist church in Nuneaton, Norfolk, England was brought before the police because of a sign that read: If you think there is no God you’d better be right!! There were flames underneath the words. When 20-year-old Robert Gladwin walked by Attleborough Baptist Church, he was offended by the message that non-Christians would go to hell, so he called the police.
If you want to see the future for North American watch what is unfolding in the United Kingdom. There are disturbing things happening in that country and when it happens there, its next stop seems to be North America. The Christian Institute is warning about recent legislation proposed for England redefining child neglect. If passed, it could potentially turn every parent in that country into a criminal. The Institute says the legislation will be introduced in the Queen’s speech on June 4, 2014. In this speech, English governments traditionally present their legislative goals in the upcoming session of parliament. According to a law passed in 1933, child neglect is limited to areas of providing basic care such as food, clothing and medical aid. Failure to do that could result in charges. However, the new legislation is expected to include emotional care in the list of abuses.
In England, many Christians believe they are not receiving the same protection under British law as other religious groups. And it is more than just a feeling. As deputy president of England’s Supreme Court, Lady Hale is one of Britain’s most senior judges. In a lecture to Yale Law School in the US this past March, she said England is becoming “less respectful” of Christians compared to other countries. Ironically, this includes some countries with less of a Christian heritage than England. Based on laws in the European Union, England is taking what Hale described as a “hard-line” approach in religious discrimination cases. And in most instances, Christians are on the losing end of the battle.
For the first time in England’s history, married couples are now in a minority. According to the country’s Office for National Statistics (ONS), 51% of people in England are choosing to either live together or stay single (the latter group includes widowed and divorced).
There is a strange court case unfolding in England involving the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, commonly called the Mormon church. Two former Mormons using a rarely used legal maneuver have convinced a British judge to issue a summons for Thomas Monson — President of the Mormon church in Salt Lake City, Utah — to appear before London’s Magistrate Court for a hearing on March 14, 2014. The two men allege the Mormon church committed fraud by convincing them to give money to the organization based on false or fraudulent teaching. In the process, the two allege the organization broke England’s Fraud Act of 2006. That Act prohibits the use of false information to gain financial benefit. One suit alleges the Mormon church collected $257 million from members in England since 2007.
Marriage is under attack around the world. Here are a few facts reflecting marriage and divorce trends in England. These stats are probably similar to those found in many developed nations. Did you know more people were married in the UK in 1862 than were married in 2011. 1862 was the first year records were kept of England’s marriage rates. in 1996, there were 1.6 million people between the ages of 45-62 living alone. By 2012, that number had increased to 2.4 million — an 800,000 increase.
In a recent ruling, an English judge stated Christians in that country have rights too. Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson of the Court of Appeals was commenting on a case involving Susanne Wilkinson, a Christian, who owned a Bed and Breakfast in Cookham, Berkshire. In 2012, because of her Christian beliefs, Susanne had turned down a homosexual couple when they requested a room with a double bed. The gay couple took Susanne to court claiming they were discriminated against. Susanne lost and